November 19, 2009
Venture Fourth Intensive Two
Thursday Night

This tape is not from Barbara or Aaron but is a talk from Julie and Marcia, the breath work facilitators. It has not been corrected by them so be aware there may be errors in transcription.

Keywords: transformational breath work

Facilitator: (guided, with pauses) And notice what else you're aware of in this moment, feeling cool, feeling warm. Noticing sound or no sound...

And then slowly begin to bring your attention to your body...Notice places where you may be holding or where you feel particularly open. Tightness, looseness, perhaps a place where you're feeling discomfort or pain... And just notice, "Oh, there's that edgy uncomfortableness in my tailbone. Hmm." No comment, just witnessing.

And now let the breath deepen a little and lengthen... See if you can nudge the breath lower down into the torso, inviting the belly to rise as you inhale... Bringing spaciousness into the breath, and awareness, awareness, mindful awareness...

And now in this place of spaciousness, I'd like to invite you to look at intentionality, look at the place where you are in your life's journey. Looking at where you are in this wonderful adventure, this Venture Fourth experience that we're in. And we're going to be immersed in the breath in the next 22 hours, give or take an hour or two. What would you like to receive from this Breathwork experience? What gift would you like to give yourself?

As you look at your life in this moment, realizing that intention plus breath can yield manifestation. So begin to think about an intentionality, an intention for these next few hours of immersion into the breath, and then just simply breathe into that intention, bringing your awareness back to the breath, and when that feels complete, allow your eyes to open...

So we would like to have a little two-minute sharing from each of you about what your experience has been with the breath. If you have a worry or concern about it, if you've had some experience with it, if you've liked it, if you've not liked it, we would just like to know who you are with the breath, what it's been like for you. And we're not going to take too long, but just to get a sense of where you are and how we can best meet your needs in the next day. How you are with the breath as a

(personal sharing not transcribed by request)

(someone notes that Breathwork creates a positive experience during the session but how can one bring it out into one's life afterwards)

F: We'll get into that this evening. There are some very specific things you can do on a daily basis.


(responding to sharing) F: There's an affirmation for that: "It's safe to let in my good." The breath is kind of symbolic of how we are in life, so people who hesitate at the bottom, when the air is all gone, one possibility, you know best, but one possibility is that there's kind of a reluctance to take in the abundance that is there, the air, of love. You know best, but just try it on. "It's safe to take in my good." We work with affirmations on this and sometimes they're right on and sometimes they aren't, and you just have to trust yourself. We'll be saying them occasionally when coming to work with you...


(responding to a comment on holding one's breath) F: So then the other side of that is, "It's safe to let go."


F: One of the brilliant things about this form of Breathwork is the woman who created this, Judith Kravitz, over the last 10 or 15 years, came up with something called toning. So when it gets to be overwhelming in a session, you can make a sound, and it's a smooth sound. The idea is the overwhelm is, really this connected breath is bringing to the surface suppressed stuff that you may not even know what it is but it feels like a lot of energy or discomfort or something. And it can get overwhelming.

So you can make this sound, make a long sound. The picture I have is, okay, this stuff has come to the surface and this sound is something that can help integrate what's come up into more useful energy. So you'll have that tool with this work which you might not have with the kundalini (breathwork/meditation), the toning...


F: So anyway my idea was just to give J a sample of toning, and everyone a sample at the same time, which we're going to do later, we could just do it right now. Before we do it together I just want to say that we're trained as facilitators and we do one to one work, or we come to you individually in a group to match your pitch. So you make a sound, and as best we can, we match the pitch that you choose. So we do it in a group, you make whatever pitch you want at this point.

But that's the idea, is to trust your own being at a give point, just make the sound that you want. We like it to be loud and smooth, and take a big breath in and have it go on for 10 or 15 seconds, not a moaning where you take an inhale and (short weak sound), but we'll say take a long breath and make a looong sound.

So everyone take a big breath in and we'll make a sound together. (loud toning)

Usually we suggest 2 or 3, big breath and long tone, and then come back to the breath. The connected breath that is the healer. So whatever we do, we encourage you to come back to the connected breath. We'll say more about that.

F2: We'll talk a little bit about the benefits of this transformational breathwork. There are many health benefits to it. There are emotional benefits, benefits in terms of physical healing. We've had some phenomenal experiences with people healing from asthma, being able to throw away their inhalers after they've done several sessions of transformational breathwork. Bite splints, that people have to use at night to keep themselves from grinding their teeth, they've been able to throw the bite splints away--actually that happened after only one session of transformational breathwork. And just recently we discovered a man who we were working with in Jacksonville last year who was using a sleep apnea machine at night, and through several sessions of transformational breath was able to give that up. So was no longer having to deal with sleep apnea.

So these are some of the kinds of things on a physical level that have been healed and cured, which have been quite significant. And of course Judith herself healed herself of throat cancer when she was in her 20s, after she had had 2 children. And of course she got led to the breathwork and the breathwork was what healed her. So whenever anybody has been healed from something they become a passionate pioneer in this field, and that's exactly what happened with Judith. Marcia and I have been studying with her for the last 9 or so years and we make an effort to be with her at least once or twice a year at a seminar or training or what have you.

And then on the emotional level, the psychological level, it can be very helpful for things like phobias, anxiety, depression, and other kinds of related illnesses. Mental health illnesses.

So what happens is, I know that you all can't see this... (holding something up) there are 3 levels that the breath works on. The first is the physical level. So what happens is, once you get the breath activated, then that means that it's breathing you. And it takes a little while to do that because there are certain pieces of the puzzle that you have to get in place before that will happen.

But once the breath gets activated, then the full respiratory system opens up, and you're oxygenating the whole respiratory system. And as a result of that, every other organ and system in your body gets oxygenated. So you're getting a lot more oxygen.

F1: The sensations you can get have already been mentioned, a whole lot of sense of energy moving in the body which may take the form of tingling, may take the form of heat and cold. It may take the form of the body feeling just like a vibration. People say like they feel like they're lifting off the floor. That's an extreme version but that can happen in a group like this. Especially you're doing this very deep work with meditation and other processes. And you've made a safe environment for yourself so it makes it safe for you to kind of remember, we're all really remembering who we really are, we're just vibration.

F2: So when the physical gets activated and you're moving into these sensations, very often things will come up that you had not been aware of. Memories, insights, connections, clarity, you'll see things that you've never seen before. You'll experience things or remember things that your conscious mind, which is over here and is kind of taking a little rest, so your subconscious mind is coming to the fore with this material that is now available to you.

The thing that's so wonderful about breathwork, and I think this is probably true about all breathwork, is that you're in experience and you are also witnessing it at the same time. It's that phenomenon that enables you to have complete control at all times. You can come out of it at any time at will. And so it's very safe because you are in the driver's seat, you're determining it.

What happens is you get so interested in this, like a film going on in front of your eyes, of new material, that it becomes interesting and so you don't want to stop it, you want to watch. I cannot begin to tell you how many things have come to me in clear knowings and clear seeings about things that happened to me way before pre-verbal, before I started talking as a little kid, that I couldn't have had any conscious memory of, it was all in my subconscious mind.

Then, of course, when that happens, lots of times you connect with spirit. And sometimes people will have just a spiritual experience. They bypass the physical, they bypass the emotional, and they go right into a spiritual experience where they're just kind of having a spiritual experience.

F1: And I like the model that I think George S<> said so clearly, that in his reading about holotropic breathwork, a way of thinking about what's happening is, your deeper knowing, or your higher self, whatever your model is, that there's this wisdom within us. Your deeper knowing comes to the fore and brings to your conscious awareness what you most need for the next step in your evolution. So it's kind of a nice thought that even if you're having an uncomfortable session, that this is really a gift from the part of you that knows what you most need right now.

F2: And that you're not going to have any experience that you're not ready to experience. You're not going to have any experience that you're not ready to experience. And that's another reason that it's very, very safe.

F1: So how does this activated breath happen? We've broken it down to 5 basics in this form of the connected breath. As you gather, there are other forms. I was introduced to this by originator Leonard <Orr> in 1979, rebirthing, and it was simply the connected breath, that's the commonality. The connected breath is the common denominator here, something so simply we carry it around with us all the time. All we have to do is just sit for a minute or two, if we get kind of triggered by something, and just sit with a connected breath. That will take us to a cleansing kind of experience.

So the connected breath is the key. No pauses between the inhale and the exhale, and the exhale and the inhale. There's no stopping. The speed is up to you. As long as you connect the inhale to the exhale to the inhale, you'll begin to get into this altered state, which is very healing.

Okay. So in this particular form, we suggest that the way to get activated is to pay attention <lost to background noise, not near mic>. And we also want the belly to be soft... So the inhale, the belly's moving away from the spine so the diaphragm can move down into the belly and more air can come into the lungs. So belly breath.

And then these last 3 go together. Not only are we connecting the breath but we're relaxing on the exhale but there's a letting go, we let gravity do the exhale.

F2: If you can envision coming home from a hard day at the office, where you've been working really hard, you come into the house and you just flop on the couch, and you just let out a sigh, it's just letting go, letting go, on the exhale, not forcing but just letting it go.

F1: So there's two things about a relaxed exhale. One is this letting go, letting gravity do it, so you don't want to push the exhale out. So if you get good at letting gravity let the lungs collapse, it can almost sound like you're pushing it. But we don't want you pushing air out, we just want you to let go.

The other thing about relaxed is some of us here have had a lot of training in yoga. And in yoga there are thousands of breaths. And a lot of them is <ujaya> breath which goes on and on and on and on and on and on, that's a very controlled exhale. It's designed to relax the mind but if you think about what's happening in the throat, the throat is tight. So we want the throat relaxed, no sound on the exhale.

And the exhale is about half as long as the inhale. So that right there, that requirement eliminates the ujaya breath because the ujaya breath is about a hundred times as long as the inhale. Can't do it but some people can. So we want a short exhale, and this is just to get the buzz we're looking for with the transformational breath. It doesn't make the ujaya breath wrong, just for what we're trying to do.

Open mouth. Air moving, wide open, it helps to release the tension in the jaw where we carry a lot, and it's thought the open mouth connects to the lower chakras. This work that Judith Kravitz has put together is designed with the moving in the belly, we work with the belly a lot, to open those chakras. You're going to get a buzz, you can go off and <trip> through the universe, that could happen in your first session and that's fine, and over a series of sessions we want these lower chakras, that's where that stuff that runs our life is sort of hidden from us, right?

F1: Lots of times people will have a lot of tension in their jaw and they can't hold their mouth open. A lot of it has to do with prohibitions as a child, "Keep your mouth shut," you know. So for those of you who have difficulty keeping your mouth open, we have these high tech devices, bottle tops.

So Judith has added some really lovely things to the breathwork, and one of the things that's been so impressive to me in attending the shamanic experience that we did 2 months ago and then knowing we were going to do this breathwork this intensive, was there were similarities between the shamanic journeying and the breathwork, and one of them is invocations. This is a very important piece of the breathwork.

What we want to do at the very beginning is call in the highest and best intentionality. So we're going to call in guides, we're going to call in our power animals, we're going to call in the wise woman, the wise man within, the I Am presence (another name for God), the higher self. We have these invocations that we will repeat as you move into the connected breath.

Music is very important too. We'll use evocative music. It will be fairly loud. We'll start out with lower chakra music and then we'll go into higher chakra music as the session goes on.

F2: And we've already talked about toning, toning when you feel overwhelmed. Sometimes in the middle of a session you may notice you're not breathing much, you can on your own decide to make some sound, that kind of wakes up the whole body a bit. So that has a couple of uses but the major one is a way, if the breath is bringing up something that seems a lot to handle or if you're coughing a lot or something like that, just having a hard time getting back to the connected breath, then just make a couple of long tones.

F1: The pounding and kicking that we do is pretty much aerobic, it's not primal, we're not primaling, this is not primal therapy. But very often in the beginning of a session in order to help you get activated, we'll ask you to simply pound and kick and tone.

F2: And I find in self-sessions if it's been awhile, the truth is that I'm probably holding on to some tension. If I can just do some pounding and kicking it just loosens it up so I can breathe more easily. If you really knew what primal therapy is, I guess you could say I was primaling a little bit, but I don't do it throughout the session, it's not the point. For me it's just more aerobic, to get the session started. I use that with clients too.

F1: This is so wonderful, this press point in affirmations, and I've got the chart, we've put the chart up on the wall. When we go around and facilitate you, we'll be pressing on your torso, different places, like here, for example, are compassion points. If there's tenderness there, we may ask you to tone as we press. And then of course the tenderness will ease off as you tone.

The affirmations here are, "I feel compassion toward myself. I forgive myself. I release the past." The left side is all about receiving, the right side is all about expression. So this would be about forgiving others.

There's a big one right here in the middle, just above the solar plexus between the ribs. Sometimes, can you visualize in your mind's eye feeling very frightened, for example if a lion were to come busting through that door, where would you feel the fear at first? The first moment of fear would be right there in that belly, and it would go to your shoulders and your neck, but it would hit you there first. That's where we have this holding. So the affirmation if there's tenderness here is, "I surrender and let go." Or, "I let go and trust."

We're going to have a handout that we'll give you that have the affirmations and the press points, so you don't need to worry about remembering them now. But it's really a brilliant piece that Judith has added to breathwork. It's not available in any of the other forms of breathwork...

F2: It has some similarity to Louise Hays' little book, not identical but there's some overlap.

F1: Healing Your Body or You Can Heal Your Mind [check title] The little thin book.

F2: She has a set of affirmations for each body ailment.

F1: Sometimes we'll put you into different positions rather than just lying flat, like if you're having some challenge getting the heart open, we may prop you up. If any of you are having any kind of heart issues, we would want to prop you up from the get-go. So just keep that in mind. And certainly if any of you have anything you want us to be aware of, please let us know about that ahead of time. Like if you've had surgeries or injuries that we need to know about, let us know before we start.

So there are just a couple more things before we do a demo. We've done the meditation and centering, we've done the intention setting. This piece is real, real important. The integration piece, the integration piece. That's what comes at the end when you bring everything together. And there are lots of things that we do. We'll be talking about what's happened for you, amongst yourself, we may do some dyad sharing. I invited you all to bring journals. If you forgot your journal we've got writing pads and pens, let us know if you need writing material.

We will give you time to integrate. You will have time to talk to either one of us and Barbara for sure about anything that came up that you need more processing about. So the integration piece is real important. And we can't stress that enough. And I think that may be one of the things that was concern (to one of you), that there wasn't enough emphasis put on the integration piece. So this is very important.

And there are lots of things you can do. You can talk to a friend. If you're in therapy, you can talk to your therapist about what's come up, and for sure you can talk to us.

F2: Tonight we're going to do about a 10 minute breath after the demonstration, and then tomorrow there will be 2 sessions, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, each about 45 minutes.

F1: We're going to do a little demo so you can see...

(recording ends)